Pinellas County Schools Parent Communication and Engagement Expectations
Pinellas County School District, families and communities have a shared responsibility for every student’s education. Through a collaborative approach, it is our expectation that effective and on-going communication will enhance family engagement, resulting in a direct impact on improving student achievement. We embrace family engagement by supporting parents and guardians who seek our help, welcoming parents who wish to help the school, and empowering the voice of parents who are potential transformers of our system.
Critical attributes of effective, on-going, two-way communication include the following:
• Consistent focus of student achievement and well-being
• Courteous and respectful interactions between all stakeholders at all times
• Open minded exchange of ideas and information between student, family and staff related to achievement, organization, and/or behavior
Expectations for two-way communication
• Telephone and email communication will be used for extended discussion related to student performance and/or well-being.
° All parents/guardians will provide the school with a current telephone contact number and/or email address.
° All schools will provide parents/guardians with contact information for each teacher, counselor, and administrator, including their email address and telephone extension, if available.
° School staff and parents/guardians will respond to phone messages and emails promptly.
• The student planner is an essential tool for establishing efficient and effective organizational habits in our students. In addition to the expectation that the planner will be used for recording student learning goals, assignments, and special events, each school will define clear expectations for the use of student planners to include:
° How and when the planner can be used for families to communicate with the teacher(s).
° Responsibilities and expectations of the student, the parent/guardian, and the teacher as it relates to the student planner.
• An effort will be made to conduct at least one conference annually for each student if warranted.
° The preferred format is a student-led conference. When a family member is not able to attend the student-led conference, the student will select an adult who cares about them to substitute for their parent/guardian.
° Other possible formats include a phone conference or the use of technology such as Elluminate, Skype, Face Time, etc.
• Schools office staff will:
° Greet visitors to the school in a positive and professional manner.
° Maintain a clean and tidy front office, demonstrating a focus on students and families
° Provide appropriate, regular, and predictable, high value School Messenger calls to the whole school or subgroup as appropriate.
° Provide a high quality up-to-date website that includes:
• School name, mascot, and logo
• School mission statement
• Office hours, bell schedule, dress code, attendance requirements
• Telephone, fax, and email contact information
• Links for:
° Directions to the school
• Counselor and administrator student assignments
• Parent involvement opportunities (SAC, PTSA, PTA, PTO, Volunteering, etc.) and schedules for each
• Course pathways (secondary schools) available
• Calendar of events
• Points of pride
° PCS recognizes the need to develop and expand methods of communication to encompass greater utilization of technology, in an effort to reach families in the communities in which they reside.
• Teachers will:
° Maintain up-to-date and accurate records of student grades and attendance in Focus
° Communicate with parents/guardians when their child is struggling, has shown improvement, or does something exceptional.
PCS is committed to partnering with families to support student learning at home, school, and in the community. To that end, Pinellas County has both expectations and opportunities for family engagement.
• School staff will:
° Foster positive relationships with parents to insure open communication when their child is struggling in school.
° Make time for a parent when they want to come to the school for a conference.
° Provide a calendar in August, to inform parents of School Advisory Council (SAC) meetings and PTSA/PTA meetings for the year
• Parents/guardians will:
° Create a home learning center, which is a dedicated space for their child to complete school work and read daily.
° Insure their child reads for at least 30 minutes a day, even if it means that a family member or friend reads with them.
° Ask their child open ended questions about the school day every day (suggestions below).
• What did you learn about at school today?
• What activities did you do at school today?
• What did you read at school today and what about it interested you?
• What did you do at school today that you enjoyed the most?
• Was there anything at school today that you didn’t enjoy, and if so, what was it and why?
° Contact the school or the district office if you need assistance related to your child.
° Contact the teacher if your child is struggling in the classroom.
° Monitor their child’s completion of homework every night and monitor their child’s grades and attendance by logging into Focus at least weekly.
° Limit their child’s television and computer time to emphasize the importance of school work and health first.
• Students will:
° Use their planner as a tool for organization and tracking assignments.
° Read for at least 30 minutes daily.
° Take pride in their work and give all school assignments and assessments their best effort.